- Alfred Sisley
- Moret-sur-Loing -- Temps gris
- Signed Sisley and dated indistinctly 92 (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
- 23 5/8 by 28 3/4 in.
- 60 by 73 cm
Charles Ephrussi, Paris
Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 25, 1932, lot 82
Paul Rosenberg, Paris (acquired at the above sale)
Masurel (acquired circa 1932)
Edmond Duclos, Paris
Private Collection (by descent from the above and sold: Christie's, Paris, May 24, 2005, lot 38)
Richard Green Fine Arts Ltd., London (acquired at the above sale)
Private Collection (acquired from the above)
Painted from a vantage point across the Loing river, this wonderfully-detailed depiction of the town of Moret belongs to an important series that Sisley completed during the last decade of his life. Sisley cherished the beauty and quietness of Moret, notable for its mills built upon a multi-arched bridge and its sturdy cluster of medieval architecture. He took particular interest in the town's Gothic church of Notre-Dame, a subject of a large series of paintings, visible in the background of the present composition as it rises above the houses of the village.
Richard Shone discussed the appeal of this picturesque town: "The fame of Moret rested not so much on what was found inside the town but on the view it presented from across the Loing. Old flour and tanning mills clustered along the bridge; the river, scattered with tiny islands, seemed more like a moat protecting the houses and terraced gardens that, on either side the sturdy Porte de Bourgogne, in turn defended the pinnacled tower of the church. Add to this the tree-lined walks along the river, the continuous sound of water from the weir and the great wheels of the mills, the houseboats and fishermen, and there was, as every guidebook exclaimed, 'a captivating picture', a sight 'worthy of the brush'. These supremely picturesque aspects of Moret left Sisley unabashed. Gathered in one spot were the motifs that had mesmerized him since he began to paint. Here were water, sky, reflections, a busy riverside; the multi-arched bridge was for the artist the last in a long line of such structures going back through Sèvres and St-Cloud and Hampton Court to Argenteuil and Villeneuve-la-Garenne. Here was that conjunction of man-made and natural, the interleaving of foliage and house fronts between sky and water" (R. Shone, Sisley, London, 1992, p. 159).